Monday, November 17, 2014

Interview with Sweet Romance Author Colleen L. Reece

Colleen L. Reece was born and raised in a home without electricity or running water but filled with love for God and family. Colleen learned to read by kerosene lamplight and dreamed of someday writing a book. God multiplied her “someday” book into 150 “Books You Can Trust,” with six million copies sold. She considers herself an ordinary person with an extraordinary God.

Welcome to my blog, Colleen. This novel has two Christmas stories in one book. Please tell us about this Christmas novel.

Christmas Calling, co-authored with my dear friend Birdie L. Etchison, offers two heartwarming Christmas novellas: my Christmas Challenge (historical) and Birdie’s Christmas Snow (contemporary). The love stories are as mystifying as a white-out, as sweet as homemade cookies. Only by the grace of God can two troubled couples weather the storms of life and find true love.

Ahhhh… true love! Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

All of my stories contain elements from real life and many are based on actual incidents. I have strong feelings of family loyalty and a hatred for injustice, both foundation blocks for Christmas Challenge. My small town upbringing and living in a one-room school where my mother once taught all eight grades contributed a great deal to the heroine’s accepting a challenge to prove the pioneer spirit was still alive in the late 1800s.

What kind of research did you have to do?

Life in rural Montana in the 1880s. I had already set other stories there so this wasn’t as hard as might be expected.

Please tell us about the main character in this story and what you love about her.

Valerie O’Shea is dear to my heart. She has the same kind of ancestors I do. Valerie and her father came to America on a coffin boat to escape the Irish potato famine. My great-grandparents went to a small, western Washington logging town in the early 1900s and built the first church—there was nothing there but seven saloons, a grocery store, and a one-room school.

I heard about that potato famine and what a hardship it was. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

God continues to restore my energy after chemo, a mastectomy, chemo, and radiation in the last two years. My side effects were minimal compared with what is normal. The medical personnel at St. Francis in Federal Way, WA call me their miracle patient. I came home the day after surgery and never had to take a pain or nausea pill—and I just turned 79.

I haven’t been able to do much writing, but God supplies my needs and gives me endless opportunities to witness. When my medical personnel say, “You are awesome,” I reply, “No. God is awesome. I am grateful.” I am. The past two years have taught me to trust Him in and for everything and encourage others to do the same.

Wow! You are a woman of great faith and have endured a lot. Thanks for this wonderful interview, Colleen. To buy a hard copy, go to Amazon. To buy an e-book, go to Amazon.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Interview with Regency Romance Author Donna Hatch

Author of Historical Romance and Fantasy, award-winning author Donna Hatch is a sought-after speaker and workshop presenter. Her passion for writing began at age 8 she wrote her first short story, and she wrote her first full-length novel during her sophomore year in high school, a fantasy which was later published. In between caring for six children, (7 counting her husband), her day job, her work as a freelance editor and copywriter, and her many volunteer positions, she still makes time to write. After all, writing IS an obsession.  All of her heroes are patterned after her husband of over 20 years, who continues to prove that there really is a happily ever after.

Welcome back to my blog, Donna. This Christmas story is all about the Gift of a Second Chance. Please tell us about your new book, A Christmas Reunion.

Heartbroken at the news that her betrothed has wed another woman, Emily is determined to pick up the pieces of her life and enjoy Christmas with her family. Newly returned from war, Bennett holds a secret and will do anything to ensure Emily, his only true love, never discovers it…even if it means losing her. Fate reunites the star-crossed lovers and reveals the truth that will either unite them or drive them apart forever.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

It came in the shower, of course, where most of my ideas decide to appear J  I was relaxed, my mind drifting, mulling over reasons why two people in love might have separated, and what might bring them back together. Then the idea of a Dear Jane letter came to me and the characters and plot formed around it. Originally, the title was The Letter but since my publisher already had a book by that title, we brainstormed and came up with Christmas Reunion, then added the subtitle, the Gift of a Second Chance.

That is a very interesting place to get your inspiration. Haha. What kind of research did you do for this book?

Really, the only thing I needed to research was dates and locations of battles during the Napoleonic War and if any convents would have been nearby—I needed to mention a hospital and a nun. Everything else I’d already learned in my last eight years of research.

You love to write regency romances. What intrigues you most about writing these stories?

I love many things about them but mostly it’s because of the men. In Regency England, duty and honor were everything. If a man said he’d do something, especially if he gave his word, he meant it, and others could count him to follow through, even if it came at a great personal cost.

Men in many historical eras were civilized and treated women with courtesy by standing up when a lady entered the room, doffed their hats, curtailed their language, offered an arm, bowed, and a hundred other little things I wish men still did today. But they were also very athletic; they hunted, raced, fenced, boxed, rode horses. They were manly. Strong. Noble. Resolute. Honorable. I love that about them! And that makes them perfect heroes for both historical fiction and historical romance novels.

That is a very good reason for writing your stories during that era. Where can my readers find you online?

Website is 

Thank you, Donna, for a wonderful interview. I hope my readers will check out your book.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Interview with Fantasy Author Amarissa Ainsworth

Ever since Amarissa was young, she was intrigued by the worlds of fantasy, magic, and make-believe. As time went on, she became the ultimate fan of those genres. Now, besides raising two active boys and a busy husband, Amarissa finds time to put her imagination into words in her debut novel, The Secrets of Myth. She is now working on the two sequels.

"I am impressed with this fantasy. The characters drew me into a world of make believe so easily. I fell in love with them right away. That is what kept my interest. This story is fast paced and keeps you turning the pages. This is Amarissa's first book and she sounds like a professional story teller. I would recommend this book to both young adult and adult alike." --Linda Weaver Clarke, Author

Hello, Amarissa. I’ve read your book and it’s an intriguing story. I know that fantasy lovers will love this story. Please tell us about The Secrets of Myth.

Leila Butterfield, an exceptionally smart high school girl, finds her world turned upside down when she discovers she may not be human. After washing up on the beach at the age of six with no memories except for a disturbing reoccurring nightmare and an incapacitating fear of water, she is adopted into a family that knows nothing of her past. But someone does know and they aren’t telling. With the help of a mysterious stranger, they dive into her past, unlocking secrets about her life and who she really is. But time is running out. Leila races against the clock to find out the truth. But whom can she trust? One day could alter the course of her entire future, but will she even survive that long?

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

I have always loved writing short stories. About seven years ago, before I had kids and my husband still worked late, I started reading a book my family told me about. When I reached the end, there was a big cliffhanger. I love cliffhangers as long as I have the next book in my hand, ready to read. But since this was a new book, the next book in the series had not been released yet. I was too involved with the characters, and agonized waiting to find out how the greater story ends. I distracted myself with another book. After finishing that book, in less than two days, I found that one was also a cliffhanger. Now I was worrying over, not one, but two books. I decided to read a stand-alone book to distract me from worrying about how those other two series’ would end. After finishing the third book, I realized that it too was part of a series. Frustration and excessive puzzling over each book started to become overwhelming. So as I sat home alone one night, counting down the days for the new books to come out, I directed my excessive obsessive energy into writing a book of my own.

Haha. That is so funny. Who is your favorite character in this story and what do you love about him or her?

In this book, The Secrets of Myth, my favorite character would have to be Leila’s little brother Eric. His easy personality and fun-loving nature made him easy to write. But I also love the magical creature characters. Gates was also an intriguing character to write, being surrounded by mystery and a little bit of danger.

What does your family think about you becoming a new author?

My family thinks it’s incredible that I have published my book. They’ve heard enough about it over the past seven years that they are thrilled it’s published. And even more thrilled they never have to hear me tell them about it again!

Haha. They can now hear about the sequels, right? It’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

Leila, the main character in The Secrets of Myth, and I share a few traits in common. But the one thing that was the crux of her character is that she has an intense, irrational fear of water. I too share that fear. As much as I love boats and flying on an inner tube over a lake, I have only done it a handful of times in my life. As soon as the boat stops moving, I become enveloped with fear. Mermaids have always fascinated me, but the fear of water always made me nervous to be around the beach or dive into ocean-themed media. The question floated into my head, what if there was a mermaid that was scared of water? Thus, The Secrets of Myth was born.

That is so interesting. I never thought about not being afraid on a boat but when it comes to a stop it’s a completely different situation. Thank you for visiting my blog, Amarissa.